Wonder what it takes to build a competitive solar racer?

Lest you think that it's easy to make a competitive solar racer, take a look at the videos of the University of Texas' Samsung Solorean (the name is a reference to the DeLorean from the Back 2 The Future movies), which are pasted after the break. In a nod towards that movie car, the portal to enter the solar racer opens gull-wing style. Pretty cool. The SunPower A300 solar cells, which cover the carbon fiber body with a Kevlar enclosure, can generate 1.1 kW of power. An on-board battery pack is made up of 598 18650 cells from LG and are controlled by a ton of sophisticated gadgetry. All of this stuff, along with the driver of course, is contained inside a nicely triangulated chromoly tube chassis. Integrated hub motors which run at 110 volts of AC power are wrapped in Bridgestone Ecopia tires inflated to a staggering 110 psi and specially made for solar car racing. Very impressive work, but - and here's the hard part - mechanical problems kept the team of competing. Thanks for the tip, Curtis!

[Source: Engineering TV]

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